Everybody likes winning prizes don’t they?
I mean, I expect they do, I’m one of those people who never seem to win anything.
Up until this year that is, when I was honoured to be chosen to receive the Liebster award for bloggers.
It was a very pleasant feeling indeed.
So I have decided that, what with it being the end of the year and everything, the time has come to bestow some awards on my favourite stuff from the last twelve months.
So, welcome to The Internet Nobody Awards, or “TINAs” for short.
There will not be a pretentious judging panel of arty industry types, talking bollocks over glasses of brandy late into the night, trying to make a case for their nominees.
There will be me.
Unbiased and all-inclusive. Exhaustively researched, comprehensive, and well thought out…these are all phrases that have no place here, so we shall move on.
Tonight’s first Tina goes to the winner of the best gig category, and quite a recent event too.
Recent, but retro.
Way, way back, when my summer holiday used to be Reading Festival, I saw one particular band many times, not only at Reading, but at Rock against Racism gigs,and smaller local festivals.
Dreadzone always were a great band, fusing their own brand of dub, rock, pop, and electronic dance music to exceedingly danceable effect, whilst still retaining a reggae edge.
Founders, ex-members of the fabulous Big Audio Dynamite, used cutting-edge electronics to enhance the bouncy, rhythmic sound, and this has always helped keep them sounding fresh.
Dreadzone – “Say cheese” Ah.
When we arrived at the venue – the local college – Elaine said, “We’re going to feel really old, all those young college kids jumping around”
She needn’t have worried.
The first genial punter that I encountered when I got to the bar was a gentleman with a white beard and two walking sticks. And he wasn’t the only one either.
Well, he was the only one I saw with two sticks, but a great many of the audience could have used their bus passes to get to the gig.
I’m told that they’d only played Barnstaple once before, and the old guard had turned out to welcome them back.
To be fair, there was a good mix of ages in the crowd, and the support act was a fairly slick young DJ with a turntable/laptop set-up, playing some classic reggae tunes.
When Dreadzone finally took the stage, they lived up to all my rose (or possibly weed) tinted memories, playing all the favourites from back in the day, as I believe the youth vernacular would have it. Aside from one or two slightly bland newer tracks, they played an absolutely blinding set that was impossible not to dance to.
And dance we all did, young and old alike.
Hands up who was there in ’93!
Other than a small problem with MC Spee’s monitor early in the set, the sound, and general atmosphere in The Factory was excellent, and I’d gladly go to other gigs there.
As they neared the end of the set, the crowd was bouncing as one, the temperature was rising, and I had worked up quite a sweat, but still had the energy to go wild for the triumphant Little Britain encore, (stomping on Elaine’s foot in the process – Sorry babe) and a bloody good time was had by all.
So let’s hear it for Dreadzone, recipients of the very first Tina.
Honourable mentions too for Chagstock – rapidly becoming my favourite festival, but not eligible for individual gig status – and the gig on last new year’s eve (come on, it’s technically this year) by local rock legends Roughnecks, who will soon return to do it again this/next year.
Coming up…Part two – TV.